Friday Booktalk Round Up

I meant to do this last week but I’ve been insane with deadlines and then this plague flu so I didn’t get to it. I’ve got quite a few books to comment on though so hold on!

Rhyannon Byrd’s Last Wolf Standing – It’s in books like this in the hands of a fabulous author like Byrd where category can really shine. It takes major skill to write a category paranormal novel because your ability to worldbuild and draw rich characters is reined in by the length. Category novels get a bad rap but it’s hard to do it well.

Luckily for us, Byrd does it not only well but she truly shines in Last Wolf Standing. The story is sexy and fun and the world she’s building is fabulous and interesting.

This is a one true mate story done the way it should be! Mason is a protector, a half-breed wolf/human and he’s a warrior with some pretty deep scars. Torrance is a longer with her own scars but I liked her a lot. I thought her reactions to the various situations were believable – she ran when hello, anyone with sense would have, but she stayed when it made sense as well. She didn’t wait to be saved by the males but at the same time realized they were the ones best trained to fight off the big bad.

I don’t have to tell anyone who’s read Rhyannon Byrd before but the love scenes were really smoking hot and well done for the level of sensuality appropriate for Nocturne.

I’m so on board for the next book, and pretty much anything else Rhyannon Byrd writes, LOL.

Maya Banks’ Sweet Surrender – I read a lot of Heat titles because I like the length for authors to write an actual novel with erotic flavor. Romantic Suspense is really one of my favorite genres so I’m always glad to read them, especially when authors I like write them!! (Jaci Burton, hello!)

Anyway so here’s the lovely Ms. Maya Banks’ second Heat offering – Sweet Surrender featuring cop Gray Montgomery and office manager Faith Malone and Faith has a messed up mom looking for help because of her latest loser boyfriend. Only that boyfriend is the man who most likely murdered Gray’s partner back in Dallas.

Gray’s guilt wars with his attraction to and desire for Faith in a believable way (sadly, this is not always done well!) It’s drawn out sensibly. He’s not a monster, he loved his partner and Faith is pretty much a stranger to him. But because he’s not a monster he begins to see Faith for the innocent she is fairly quickly and he’s a cop – not a man who is prone to harming people who are victims just as much as his partner was.

The D/s is handled with a unique take and one that addresses the emotion as well as the physical aspects. This is not all spanking and handcuffs which is refreshing!

I need to pester her to find out when we get the stories for Faith’s brother and co-workers!

JD Robb’s Strangers In Death – I’m never going to miss a new Robb! The procedural in this one outweighed the personal stuff, which provides a nice flip and a bit of a breather I think. Interesting storyline, the suspect is such a piece of work. More stuff with charles and louise who we haven’t seen in a while and I loved it!

It was a good, solid book, not as emotionally wrenching as the last few have been but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In a series this long, you have to switch things up or it gets old.

One thing – I totally have to say I still don’t think Roarke has done enough to make up for his behavior with Madgalena. I really don’t and when Eve brings it up and says she doesn’t blame him, I still do. He did not take Eve’s side, that’s worse for Eve than having sex with someone else. I really wanted to see him on his knees, totally understanding the depth of the harm he did but I haven’t so it makes me hold back a bit with him and I just love him so much as a character it kills me!

Kim Harrison’s The Outlaw Demon Wails – A few years ago I picked up a paper back book with a great cover and a funky blurb and I’ve devoured eveything Kim Harrison has written since.

Given the deeply emotional crash at the end of the last book, I was wondering how Harrison would write Rachel in this book. I think, with Outlaw, Harrison has written what seems “a day in the life” of Rachel Morgan but Rachel really bleeds. She’s trying to overcome her grief at the loss of Kisten and figure out how to move on. She’s dealing with her true heritage and the rusurfacing of her mother’s place in her life. There’s always Ivy and their relationship to deal with and also, the real fact of the short lifespan of pixies.

In the midst of a whole lot of grief, loss and potential for more loss, Al comes back and Rachel has to deal with demons again. Oh and a new vamp has come to town now that Piscary is gone and of course he’s got his incisors and his eye on Rachel.

Nice twists and turns, a trip to the ever after (which opened a whole new OH MY GOD storyline), more Trent (and who doesn’t love his evil butt), ups and downs with Ivy, a new possible love interest handled well given Rachel’s recent loss.

I loved it and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Rachel Morgan.

6 comments to “Friday Booktalk Round Up”

  1. Christine
    March 14th, 2008 at 12:34 pm · Link

    I new the death series as you know so I’m only up to book 4 and I’m loving the series. But it sucks when characters do things that we don’t like and disappoint us. Eve and Roarke’s dynamic is incredible. I’ll have to revisit this moment when I get to whatever book your talking about.

  2. laurendane
    March 14th, 2008 at 12:36 pm · Link

    I absolutely love the whole series and I think she keeps it fresh and interesting. I want to make it clear, he does not cheat! Never even considers it.

  3. Christine
    March 14th, 2008 at 1:17 pm · Link

    I knew from your comment that he didn’t cheat but that it was another type of betrayal. But considering where Eve comes from emotionally a betrayal of trust could be worse than cheating. Let’s face it in these long term series these characters come alive to us and when they screw up we take it personally. I know I do.

  4. Cathy M
    March 14th, 2008 at 1:53 pm · Link

    Great book list. I totally agree about Roarke, always thought that Eve, being Eve, would have kicked his butt abit more. Just got my copy of The Outlaw Demon Wails, and hope to start it this weekend.

  5. Greta
    March 14th, 2008 at 3:46 pm · Link

    Lauren, the writeminded readers have been pestering her about Faith’s brothers before Sweet Surrender came out. So please add to our cause we want them to. She will so love you

  6. Laura K
    March 14th, 2008 at 4:58 pm · Link

    I love the “death” series!!! I totally agree that Eve still needs to kick Roarke’s butt for that betrayal. My fav secondary character is Mavis. That woman is a riot!! I HAVE to get Maya’s second Heat book because the first one rocked!!